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Higher standards expected of NHS trusts before dismissal for capability

The recent case of Muller v London Ambulance Service NHS Trust has emphasised the need for NHS Trusts, as large, sophisticated employers with significant administrative resources, to take a more cautious approach and exhaust every other option before dismissing an employee by reason of capability. Mr Muller’s dismissal was found to be unfair and discriminatory, despite the fact that he had been absent from work for a year and had no predicted return-to-work date at the time he was dismissed.

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Don’t do Facebook

Facebook is not a good place to air workplace grievances as Mr Atherton discovered in his claim of unfair dismissal against his employer, Bensons Vending Limited. It appears staff morale was low after the company reduced its discretionary Christmas bonus due to financial constraints – the bonus becoming a gift of a bottle of alcohol.

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ICTS (UK) Limited v Visram

ICTS (UK) Limited v Visram: The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) upheld the Employment Tribunal’s decision that an employee, who was successful in his claims for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination, should be awarded compensation for loss of benefits until death or retirement.

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EU workers’ healthcare qualifications to be recognised after Brexit

Regardless of which side of the Brexit debate you are on, the Government has recently provided some much needed clarity to the health sector. The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has confirmed that health and social care workers with professional qualifications from the EU will be able to continue to practise in the UK, even in the event of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit.

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The Good Work Plan – An Update

The Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices was published the following year in July 2017 and set out a list of over 50 recommendations which were aimed at improving the working life and employment rights of agency, casual, zero hour and low paid workers. In response to the Taylor review, the government has now published the Good Work Plan, which sets out workplace reforms focusing on “fair and decent work”, “clarity for employers and workers” and “fairer enforcement”.

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Upcoming legislative changes

With ongoing uncertainty surrounding the final terms under which the UK will leave the EU and whether this will take place on 29 March 2019 as planned or not, it is difficult to predict how Brexit may affect Employment Law. However, for practical purposes it seems likely that EU legislation will remain applicable in the UK (but perhaps on a different constitutional basis) unless or until it is amended by UK legislation. We are not expecting swift changes to Employment law and do not expect to see any significant changes prior to 31 December 2020 (the end of the proposed transition period).

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Update – Tax changes to termination payments

Back in the 2016 Budget, the government announced that from April 2018, it would “reform and simplify” the taxation of termination payments. Following a technical consultation, the reforms expanded and now aim to "clarify and tighten" (i.e. increase) the taxation of such payments.

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